Mr. Speaker, last week was National Hospice Palliative Care Week. Across the country, events focused on raising awareness about palliative care, an issue that deeply affects all Canadians. Palliative care is too often and wrongly considered incidental rather than an integral part of our health care system.
My riding of Lac-Saint-Louis is very fortunate to be home to the West Island Palliative Care Residence. This truly outstanding organization has been providing quality end-of-life care in a home-like setting since 2002, allowing patients from the western part of Quebec to live their last days in comfort and dignity.
Unfortunately, this type of care, which I consider to be a human right, is not universally available. Less than 30% of those who require palliative care currently have access to it.
I therefore call upon the government to implement the recommendation contained in the report of the Parliamentary Committee on Palliative and Compassionate Care that the federal government re-establish a palliative care secretariat to bring together various levels of government and stakeholders to develop and implement a national palliative and end-of-life care strategy.